Wond'rous Machine: A Literary Anthology Celebrating the Organ
- Publish Date: 2000-06-14
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Robert N. Roth
You do not have to be an organist to be blown away by the sound of the 'full organ' in St. Paul's, London; Notre Dame, Paris; or St. John the Divine, New York. Some of this inexplicable excitement seems to reside in everyone's consciousness, providing a glimpse of a world in which one particular instrumentthe pipe organcan assume a larger presence than any other. This anthology presents many of the literary expressions from writers who have tried to capture the magic of the organ for more than 2000 yearsin poetry and prose, in stories, in factual and fictional accounts, in simile, and in metaphor. This book, which contains pieces of literature by approximately one hundred different authors, is divided into five sections, with an introduction by the compiler. The first section contains poetry by well-known poets from six centuries (such as W.H. Auden, Robert Browning, Geoffrey Chaucer, Emily Dickinson, John Dryden, T.S. Eliot, Hermann Hesse, Andrew Marvell, John Milton and Dylan Thomas) as well as many lesser-known ones. The Second section contains passages from novels by such diverse writers as Honore de Balzac, E.F. Benson, Elizabeth Bowen, Elizabeth Goudge, Thomas Hardy, Aldous Huxley, Francois Rabelais and John Updike, among others. The third section includes excerpts from mystery writers like Kate Charles, Jane Langton, E.C.R. Lorac, and J. Meade Falkner. The fourth section is composed of short stories, printed in their entirety, by such masters of the art as Arnold Bennett, David Ely, Bill Franzen, Garrison Keillor, H. L. Mencken, and Jessamyn West. The last section contains essays by a wide variety of authors such as Leigh Hunt, Gordon Reynolds, George Bernard Shaw, Richard Steele, and Virgil Thomson, among others. Selections are linked with commentary and background and biographical information. This is a book with a wide variety of moods, just as the organ is an instrument with a wide variety of sounds. All are sure to appeal to the lover of this gloriously melodic instrument of music.